Warm the Cockles of My Heart

I’ve two very adorable #overlyattachedcolleagues in the office.

Both are quite a fair bit younger than me, hehe, so to be honest, I pendulum between feeling bewildered and feeling thankful that they actually don’t mind spending time with this old one.

 

Anyway, I digress… One of them has this super-cute way of expressing herself, sometimes it’s the way she strings things together that describes the situation so interestingly, and sometimes it’s her peculiar choice of words.

Like ‘it warms the cockles of my heart‘. Who the hell says things like that?! You know how we all learn idioms and proverbs and all that jazz? But those stuff seems to fit better in writing. I mean, how many of you actually use idioms in your everyday speech?

Yea, J does. Cutely so.

 

I guess whenever she says something has warmed the cockles of her heart, she’s probably seeing lovely heart-shaped cockles in her mind, like this one.

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But hey, we’re all different and we should always celebrate diversity amongst humankind, ya?

You see, whenever I hear her say that, this kind of yummylicious cockles come to my mind, bwahwahwah!

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Until tonight.

I actually understood exactly why she sometimes feels compelled to use that description. Coz tonight, I watched a video that, yea, warmed the blardy cockles of heart. So much so that I decided to blog about it. But I needed to do a teeny weeny bit of research first.

 

And I chanced upon this news from Japan (EXACTLY two years ago!!) of how commuters at a train station in Tokyo, Japan, had acted swiftly to heave and push a train to save a woman trapped between the train and the platform.

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So apt and so funny that THIS ARTICLE actually used these words ‘warmed the cockles of my heart‘!

Like, how did THEY know?! ^o^

 

Back in 2014, something fairly similar happened in Perth, Australia. A man’s leg was trapped in the gap between the train and the platform.

Without anyone telling anyone else what to do, the commuters all rushed forward to help push and tilt the train to free the man! You can watch the amazing video HERE.

 

And then in UK in April this year (2015), Londoners banded together to help someone too!

A unicyclist collided with a double-decker bus and was trapped underneath the bus. Some 100 people just stepped up and moved forward to help free him from then.

Pretty amazing! You can watch the video HERE

 

Hokies! So such things had happened in Japan, Australia and the UK… and then it happened RIGHT HERE IN SINGAPORE THIS MORNING!

A pedetrain was trapped under a lorry along Boon Keng Road. It started with two handfuls of men helping to lift the lobby upwwards to free the man.

Then WHOA! More and more men came hurrying and running to the lorry to help out.

 

Mind you, all these, without anyone organizing anyone to do anything together. Whatever happened to us Singaporeans?

We have always been described and faulted with being mechanical, not expressive, not spontaneous, almost stoic… you get the drift. We’re seemingly incapable of doing stuff without the government telling us so, without someone organizing us to do so. No?

Here, watch the video.

 

Know what? I can’t really explain why, but yea I actually found myself tearing as I watched the video!

It was a rather strange feeling as I felt a strong sense of #SingaporeanPride, alongside feelings of being touched, being thankful. Anyway, I’d shared the video on Facebook and also commented that I cried watching it.

 

And shortly, I received a PM from a friend. Hehe, she’d PM’ed me to say she cried too watching the video! Yay! So glad I wasn’t the only weird and silly one!

She’d said,

“Really proud of what we have here in Singapore lah. Like people putting aside differences. And these was a comment that said ‘some of them could be FT and PRs too!'”

 

Really leh!

In fact, in a smaller way, I felt something that’s a teeny weeny bit similar to what i had felt during the poignant LKY WEEK. It sorta gave me hope that… hey, when it comes to the crunch, we Singaporeans CAN band together and do the necessary.

Yeaps, tonight marked the definitive moment I fully understand how it felt to have something warm the cockles of my heart.

 

Image Credits: rocketnews24.com

BigBang 2015 World Tour MADE 5+5+5

Yea, I ended up going for both shows of the Singapore leg of BIGBANG 2015 WORLD TOUR, MADE after all.

The original plan was to attend just the second of the two shows in Singapore this weekend, and to catch all the shows in BKK. Unfortunately, the BKK trip didn’t happen for a myraid of reasons, and we ended up only pre-booking our tickets for just one show of the Singapore leg.

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Was prepared to live with it. After all, since I became a fan sometime in early 2011 (through the GD&TOP ALBUM!), i’ve watched something like eight full BigBang concerts, caught their performance at two F1 events and one year-end countdown, and also gone for the YG Family concert in Singapore. I even went for the GD solo concerts in Singapore and BKK, as well as the GD-YB-SR fan meeting in Hong Kong last year.

So I had more or less accepted that I was gonna catch just one and only one MADE concert.

 

About two to three weeks ago, maknae asked me if I was keen to buy the cheapest category and just catch the first show. I said OK, but when we got to checking the tickets, practically everything was gone. So I told maknae maybe we should just forget it.

Yea, in case you haven’t heard, BigBang is kindda big globally. Not just in Korea or in Asia, mind you *beams with VIP pride*

 

I found myself with a bit of time last weekend, and my itchy fingers went to check out the latest vids uploaded on the BIGBANG YOUTUBE CHANNEL. I watched a couple of them, the HK one and also the most recent Dalian (China) one.

 

And oh boy, how I yearned to watch them live again after watching those!

Like I always tell everyone, the magic of BigBang is their live performance.

Compared to other idol groups and all, BigBang is really not that much fun on variety show. Not on their own. They need good emcees who are familiar enough with them to draw them out. But if left on their own, they’re not incredibly fun to watch, like the recent Naver Starcast epis HERE and HERE

If you’re keen to watch their appearance on variety shows, you can check out THIS FAIRLY GOOD RESOURCE. There’s one more HERE that’s good too, but am not sure if some of the old links still work.

I strongly recommend their debut series, Intimate Note, 2D1N, all their appearance on Strong Heart (there’re many!), and in more recent years, HEALING CAMP, GO SHOW, COME TO PLAY and this just out very recently, HAPPY TOGETHER.

And oh, don’t miss GD&TOP on NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, it’s my all-time fave!

GD had some pretty awesome outing on his own too, like on HWASHIN (with Daesung), and also on Infinity Challenge (IC)! He had been on it three times on his own and you can watch his latest together with BFF YoungBae in IC HERE. Hehe, GD once said he’s a IC fan! And oh, in case you didn’t know, IC is also the most popular and longest running variety show in Korea. They just celebrated their 10th anniversary!

 

Anyway, back to the concert… So mid-week last week, I received a kakao message from maknae,

Maknae: Unni, the nearer the date, the more I think I shold go! >.< I haven’t watched their concert for so long… and this is gonna be the first and last for this year… I’m thinking to get the cheapest $88 ticket with blocked view. Let me know if you want ^^

Me: Hehe, I watched some of the recent con highlights, soooo gooooood!

Maknae: Because hor, I keep thinking about how we also once paid around the same price to watch from the last-est row, lol! I think about it every night!

Me: Every night arh?! Hahahaha! Yea, I also missed those Seoul concert nights tbh. OK, I’ll go.

 

Turned out that the organizer had released more tickets last week after everything was sold out. But these were the $88 tickets which they referred to as ‘audio seats‘, meaning they came with obstructed view.

Oh well, guess beggers can’t be choosers. Oughta be thankful there were even tickets available at all! Yeaps, that’s how we ended up buying the cheapest category for the first show so last minute!

So for Day 1, we had the cheapest tickets and were sitting at the ‘mountain-top’, and for Day 2, we had the most expensive tickets (other than the VIP package that came with soundcheck passes and merchandise).

And guess what? We enjoyed ourselves at both outings!

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Here’s us, smiling away on Day 1. Taken from our mountain-top seats.

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And Day 2…. Omo, we’re sooooo near!

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So, what’s 5+5+5 in the blog title all about?

Hehe, I wanna share five things that never change, five things new that I’ve learnt, and five things that happened at the MADE concert.

 

FIVE THINGS THAT NEVER CHANGE

1) I cannot, yea, simply CANNOT resist watching them live!

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2) I will scream lots during their concert. Especially whenever GD or TOP comes near… hehe!

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3) I cannot sit through their entire concert. Yeaps, it’s standing for at least 70-80% of the time! Gotta ‘fess up, I usually take a mini break and sit down during Seungri’s solo segment.

 

4) I love love love love love the crown lightsticks!

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5) The withdrawal symptons kick in even before the last show ends. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Yea, the more I see them live, the more I wanna see them live.

 

FIVE THINGS THAT I’VE LEARNT

1) Audio seats are actually quite decent and value-for-money!

 

2) Get into the premises with enough time to buy a bottle of water. Coz the screaming, ahhh… the screaming…

We didn’t have water for Day 1, and i really regretted it heaps! So today, hehe, not only did I buy water, I even bought beer!

 

3) When it comes to BigBang, just buy the tickets to all the shows if I can make it. Saves the trouble of scrambling for tickets later, haha!

 

4) Singapore really sucks at fan events, hehe! The BLUE OCEAN MISSION failed on both days. The flashlight event for If You met with better success tonight, but mostly coz the flashlight from cellphones was sorta a similar colour as the crown lightsticks, hurhur!

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5) You’re never too old, too young, too male, too female, or too anything to attend BigBang concerts.

For Day 1, we actually had a whole family seated next to us. Papa, Mama and two young daughters (below 10 years old). They ALL stood throughout, sang and waved their arms throughout. The two young ones could even sing the latest songs! And the not-so-young Papa was very much into it too!

 

FIVE THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT MADE, SINGAPORE

1) On Day 1, all of us seated at the first row in our section went from our seats to stand at the railing for a closer view. We were standing like that for over two hours before the security came to shoo us back just those couple of steps back to our seats. Crazy, ya? We had been standing like that for over two hours and they had to tell us to move back just for the final half hour or so?!

They even told us to sit down.The best part? Nobody listened, and we continued to stand near the railing and they didn’t bother us afterwards.

 

2) Some security staff were stationed on ground level and looking up to check which fans were taking photograph or recording. And they would beam green laser at the fans when they spotted anyone doing so.

 

3) They distributed water to the fans at the moshpit! Nubadddd!

 

4) While we sucked at fan events, the singing in Korean has improved lots! Having watched BigBang performance in Seoul, KL, BKK, HK and Singapore, I’d say we had always been the worst. But whoa, gotta say we’ve improved lots and this time around, the singing was much louder and stronger.

Impressive! We’re almost there now!

 

5) It’s a field day for wuri maknae whose bias is Daesung. She’s flashing an old banner today with the message ‘Daesung, I only look at you‘. Coz we were so close to the movable glass bridge thingy, he saw her with the banner! *SCREAMS!*

Actually I suspect he’d seen it earlier, he was just wayyyyy too shy to acknowledge it, hehe! But oh boy, when he did muster the courage to acknowledge her, he did it with such aplomb and gusto! He was practically performing right in front of us for over a minute… and leaving us for awhile, only to be back again, smiling, singing, dancing, and yes, even pumping his chest.

O…MI…GOSH…!

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It was quite  hiliarious how maknae went weak-kneed and was alternating between wanting to scream, giggle, faint and jump. So busy, fwahwahwahwah! She was such a happy girl!

Tonight, what a beautiful night.

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I had soooooo much fun at these two shows, especially tonight’s. Our seats are fabulous, and we were very close to the stage. The mood was so high even the boys felt it! Seungri even asked to change one of their encore songs to something he could dance to! So instead of Feeling, they sang GDYB’s Good Boy (I love that song, that beat, woohoo!)

Know what?

I’d almost forgotten how devastatingly goodlooking TOP is! Omigod, that chiseled face and those eyes! But all it took was one look at him when he strolled out for the first time last night.

WOW!

Definitely the visual for the group, or at least one of them (coz I see GD as a strong visual, heehee!) Sooooo… goodlooking for what?! Got money take meh?!

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But what a wacky fella with weird dance moves! And he’s sometimes seemingly stuck in his own funny world! But somehow his 4D personality and peculiar habits just add to the whole appeal.

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GD is the leader of the group. In fact, I see him as someting akin to the soul of BigBang too, since he’s so involved in the production of all their albums, and he writes so many of their songs. What an amazingly talented person. And the repertoire of the songs he can create is nothing short of spectacular.

His stage charisma and the way he plays on stage is so riveting to watch. So much power and draw in that waif of a body what wears everything so stylishly.

And in some ways, he reminds me of Peter Pan. What an interesting fella, just as TOP is, but these two are different kinds of interesting.

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And Youngbae

Ahhh, I marvel at GD’s and Youngbae’s English, how the heck can these two boys speak English so well? It’s great when they can actually communicate directly with us. I remember some of the super-awkward talk-time that happened at some Kpop artists’ concerts or fan meetings. Aigoo…!

I love love love his live performance of Eyes, Nose, Lips!

Will own up that I hate that shirt! And he even wore it for the filming of INFINITY CHALLENGE when GDYB went to meet Kwanghee for the first time!

And he’s such a ball of energy onstage. I can still remember how he’d once told Lee Hyori while they didn’t grow all that much in terms of height, they’d grown lots in terms of passion.

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All in, both nights were MORE THAN FAB!

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Maknae and I are totally regretting not trying harder to catch them in BKK. But thank goodness we decided to catch Day 1 too, else we would be left with even more regret. Shhhh…. we’re even checking to see if we can actually catch at least a couple more MADE concerts at other cities!

Okie, am gonna leave you with a fan-made MV of one of their latest releases from MADE, IF YOU. It’s a slow number, and it’s also one rare one where all five BigBang members sang!

And oh, this is the one that Papa Yang said it’s BIGBANG’s SADDEST SONG YET, AND ALSO HIS PERSONAL FAVE. Take a listen, it starts with TOP’s very low croon!

 

Of Monday, Muji and Music

How many of you like Mondays, hands up!

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I know I don’t like Mondays. In fact, I generally don’t like days. Yea, you see, I’m very much a night person, totally nocturnal. If I could work nights, I probably would.

You know how there’re always those articles that profess to know it all, and go around telling everyone how morning’s the best part of a productive day, and how the most productive people wake up really early to do their magic?

 

I’ve always wondered who wrote those things. What if they’re all written by the early-risers of the world? What if they’re completely biased to begin with?

I prefer to think that it takes all kinds to make the world, yes, including my kind! And everyone’s different. If we’re different, how and why would all of us fit into the same morning mold, right? Surely, it’s possible that it’s a case of different folks, different strokes, ya?

Yea, what if I tell you that practically all research studies are false? Coz nearly all would start with some assumptions, and no research can claim to have gotten input from everyone on earth. And what about prevailing bias and confirmation bias? Can’t deny that these things exist, right?

 

Anyway, I digress… hehe, like I always do, bwahwahwah!

I just wanna make a point that not everyone can be morning people, and if we’re not one of those who can be chirpy Monday morning people, do cut us some slack.

Cheered myself up today by going for some cheap sushi during lunch. Hehe, SUSHI EXPRESS is a fab lunchtime pick-me-up or cheer-me-up, really!

And also managed to pick up some Muji pensssss! I love love love Muji stationery (and I heart their acrylic containers too!)

I remember back in those days when I ONLY used Muji pens and nothing else. Not just pens, I’d only use Muji pencils, ruler, stapler, etc etc etc. Whatever happened to the old me, haha! Standards have dropped as quickly as my skin is sagging!

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Anyway, not in the mood to blog anything serious or even remotely substantial or meaningful. It’s kindda late already too.

But I do wanna share some cool music that I’ve been playing on repeat for a while now. None of these are new-new, but I still love them.

This is such a lovely, lovely mash-up! Never thought these two songs would work so terrifically together! And I really like Casey Breves‘ voice in this one! Hehe, I love this so much I actually bought the song from iTunes!

 

And my other obsession is Girl Crush by Little Big Town!

Yea, I’m fully aware I’ve already blogged about this song EARLIER, but hey, what to do? I still love it! You can check out the LYRIC VIDEO, or watch the official MV!

 

I ain’t the only one who loves this song; there’re quite many covers of Girl Crush on the Internet. But most notably, Kelly Clarkson also did a live cover of this song, yay!

 

Now lest you think I’m like some sentimental old fool, let me stop you right there! I actually don’t usually fancy ballads, especially by the powerhouses of female voices like Mariah Carey or Celine Dion. Not my cup of tea. I find them too burdensome and tiring to listen to.

 

Lately, I’m a teeny weeny bit in love with this breezy song, Marvin Gaye by CHARLIE PUTH, featuring MEGHAN TRAINOR. I don’t know why, but it kindda makes me happy listening to this song, hehe!

Not a big fan of the OFFICIAL MV, so I’ll post a clip of Charlie Puth singing the song live on RTL Late Night instead.

 

And oh, one song that I like listening to when I’m at work is from the OST of the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, EARNED IT by The Weekend. There’s a recently released cover that’s received a lot of love.

Here, check it out!

 

The Man Rumoured to Sleep Very Little

Read the papers?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister THARMAN SHANMUGARATNAM was at the second day of the SG50+ CONFERENCE organized by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and he said that as Singapore looks towards the future, the Government will need to focus on planning for the long term, and holding a strong centre in society.

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Hee, so long as it’s him asking, my answer will be, “Okie! I’m gladly be your centre!

Yea, guess you could say I’m having a teeny weeny bit of a crush on our DPM. But hey, I know I ain’ the only one!

Check these out! Even guys have man-crushes on him, bwahwahwah!

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Anyway, back to the SG50+ Conference, PM Lee was the guest for the first day. You can read the transcript of the dialogue HERE. Or if watching vids is more your kind of thing, you can also watch the highlights HERE.

Despite being in court stand the previous days and also being under the weather, PM Lee still managed to keep his wits and humor around him. Read that he even teased the SG50+ Conference audience with an ELECTION JOKE, hurhur!

(Yea, PM was NGERNGED! Did you read THAT BLOG POST that revealed how Hamster Hui Hui said Roy had asked her to do some flaming to aggravate the matter, and that Roy’s end goal is to seek asylum? I wish I’ve some power to wish this pair away! Like really really far away!)

 

Let’s get back to more pleasant things. Or in this case, more pleasant man!

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I really really really love the way this man thinks!

He always comes across as calm, cool, collected, very reasonable and very open. He’s able to articulate himself so very clearly, and I love that, despite how brilliant he really must be, he has always chosen the simplest of words and say things in the most straightforward manner.

 

At the SG50+ CONFERENCE, he’d said,

You must have that culture starting from very young, pre school, primary school, where kids speak up. You don’t need to always make sense, you don’t need to speak logically, but you’ve got to have a mind of your own. There’s something to it. I believe in that. What it implies for political culture and systems – you need some humility on this.

 

A WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE was floating around last week. The article was written by Fareed Zakaria who writes a foreign affairs column for The Post. He is also the host of CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS and a contributing editor for THE ATLANTIC. Quite a known personality in his field.

Here, let me share parts of the article.

 

Fareed wrote,

In thinking about the United States’ enduring racial divide, I found myself intrigued by lessons from an unlikely source: Singapore. To help prepare for a trip there next week (as a guest of the National University of Singapore), I asked the country’s deputy prime minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, what he regarded as the country’s biggest success. I imagined that he would talk about economics, since the city-state’s per capita GDP now outstrips that of the United States, Japan and Hong Kong. He spoke instead about social harmony.

 

DPM Tharman had gone on to speak about what’s perhaps one of the most intrusive policies in Sinagpore. When asked about how Singapore achieve social harmony, DPM had said we have done so by mandating ethnic diversity in all of its neighborhoods. More than 80% of Singaporeans live in public housing. Every block, precinct and enclave has ethnic quotas.

The most intrusive social policy in Singapore has turned out to be the most important,” he says. “It turns out that when you ensure every neighborhood is mixed, people do everyday things together, become comfortable with each other, and most importantly, their kids go to the same schools. When the kids grow up together, they begin to share a future together.”

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DPM Tharman had raised this same point when he was at the ST. GALLEN SYMPOSIUM in Switzerland in May.

He was interviewed by BBC HARDTALK presenter Stephen Sackur. Now in case you didn’t know, STEPHEN SACKUR is a rather famous and yes, award-winning too, journalist, with a career that spans over three decades. He’s mostly known for his no-nonsense style, caustic tongue and the balls to ask inconvenient questions to the bigwigs of the world. In fact, a few world leaders are known to decline interviews coz they ain’t certain they can ‘handle’ him.

Oh, closer to our shores, Sackur has interviewed OUR OWN KISHORE MAHBUBANI and also our not-so-friendly neighbour DR MAHATHIR.

 

Some have said that Sackur had reined his tongue in a little during the St. Gallen Symposium interview with DPM Tharman, but most have said that it was our DPM who had managed to give as good as he got and all the while, remaining the ultimate gentleman. And a very smart one at that too.

Amongst other issues (like sensitive flowers, use of tenses and stuff, hurhur!), he’s discussed Singapore’s economic success, social policies and safety nets as well.

 

If you haven’t watched it, YOU HAVE TO. It’s really well worth the 48 minutes and 50 seconds, I promise. Or your money back.

 

He was soooooo gooooooood!

I was practically bursting with pride. Hey, sitting right there and handling the questions so well and representing our nation so impressively is our DPM!

His voice’s so lovely too! Very low, and these’s something akin to toasty-warm melty chocolate kind of sexiness in his tone. I think I can hear him talk all night!

Me? Yea, am totally smitten!

Smitten while watching the interview. Smitten right after watching the interview. Smitten as I was reading all the articles and social media posts about the interview. And even more smitten when I was back-tracking and reading up more on the man, hee!

 

And his trampoline comeback! Whoa! I sooooo… wanted to scream at that!

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PM Lee too posted about the interview on Facebook.

 

If you’d rather read, then HERE’s the transcript. But haiyo, go watch lah! You won’t get the same flavour if you just read, and part of the fun comes from the volleying between Sackur and DPM.

And yes, how can you not wanna listen to that voice? And look into those warm eyes? *fangirl mode*

 

If you really really really can’t spare the 48 minutes and 50 secs and don’t have time to read the entire transcript, then at least check out 10 TIMES DPM THARMAN MADE US WANT TO STAND UP AND CLAP FOR HIM. Hehe, that’s extracting the top 10 St. Gallen quotes for you.

Hehe, wanna compare those 10 quotes with 10 choice quotes picked up by FIVE STARS AND A MOON?

Or if MOTHERSHIP is more your kind of news sites, then check out their article on how BBC’s STEPHEN SACKUR GETS SUCKER-PUNCHED BY DPM THARMAN.

 

And guess what?! Singaporeans ain’t the only ones who love love love DPM Tharman. He was admitted to the GROUP OF 30, an international consultative group made up of 30 leading financiers and academics, way back in 2008.

And of course, he was appointed the Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial (IMF) Committee back in 2011. Seriously, what an honour! We are but a tiny speck of an island. Surely, they didn’t swing that appointment in Singapore’s way coz of whatever strategically politically reasons, or coz they wanted to give us ‘face‘. Nay, none of those. It must have been that they see how Singapore or in this case, DPM Tharman in particular, can add value.

He’s so impressive that there’re people saying how he should be SUCCEEDING CHRISTINE LAGARDE as IMF’s Managing Director. That post’s nearly-always ‘dominated’ by Europeans, especially the French, it seems. So, it will be quite a feat if DPM does become the next person to head IMF. (But… he’s a very very modest man, and has made self-deprecating remarks to brush off the suggestion whenever it’s brought up. Hee!)

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He was even named Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney back in 2013!

And… I read a near-purrrfect description about DPM Tharman HERE!

Being selected for leadership roles in the world’s most important multilateral financial institutions doesn’t come from luck. It comes from hard work and recognition that you can and will contribute.

Minister Tharman personifies what Singapore can be as it evolves: urbane, sophisticated, caring, worldly and diverse.

 

Couldn’t resist uploading this photo of his to share. Why? Hehe, coz he’s wearing a (PINK!) U polo from NTUC! I have a pink one too, woohoo!

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Recommended Reads
12 WAYS THARMAN PROVES TALENT IS UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTED IN PAP
DPM THARMAN ON FAMILY MATTERS
EVEN THE OPPOSITION PARTY PEEPS LIKE HIM!
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF ASK DPM BY SINGAPOLITCS

 

Image Credits: wikipedia, twitter.com/lupcheong, gotmoneygothoney.blogspot, mas.gov.sg, youtube/StGallenSymposium, Straits Times, Young NTUC

#LoveWins… Even If Just For This Weekend

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Did you wake up to a Facebook feed of rainbows, #LoveWins quotes and all things nice? Hehe, there’re even some jokes about how some older folks were checking with their kids if it’s National Rainbow Day or something.

Hurhur.

I really like the Visa ones. It brings out the gay marriage agenda and yet the brand retains their own ‘wide acceptance‘ flavour.

Love. Accepted Everywhere.

 

Visa ain’t the only brand that’s either embracing this or some people might say, jumping onto the bandwagon. Check out MASHABLE’s ARTICLE to see who else have.

 

Not just brands, individuals too have been quick to express their support too.  Mark Zuckerberg was amongst one of the first to say and in fact, do something.

Check out his profile pic on Facebook!

And he even showed how the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has been growing. Or perhaps it’s more a case of the community feeling more comfortable to come out.

Do you see your friends’ profile pics touched with rainbow? Yea, they’d used the FACEBOOK CELEBRATE PRIDE TOOL.

OK, gotta make sure all of us here DO know that it’s not National Rainbow Day. Just in case there really are people who haven’t heard what’s with all the rainbowy stuff going on…

Basically, the Supreme Court (US) has legalized gay marriages.

Yup, the loooooong battle to make same-sex marriage legal across the US has finally seen a win last Friday (hehe, which is sorta Saturday in our side of the world.)

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy read out the court’s decision to a room waiting with baited breath. HIS CLOSING STATEMENT was a beautiful tribute to the power of love:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrates, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to finds its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The constitution grants them that right. The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

 

President Obama, too, said something about this. But wait, before that, did you hear about how the media’s calling this OBAMA’s BEST WEEK! There’s even a A HILARIOUS VIDEO ABOUT THIS ON HUFFINGTON.

Anyway, here’s what the very charismatic leader (and public speaker!) has to say about this humongous milestone for advocates of same-sex marriage.

And check out how the White House turned into an astoundingly beautiful rainbow house!

 

For the record, I’m straight. And still for the record, I really don’t care if other people are straight or whatsoever. To me, a person’s sexual orientation is something personal.

It’s none of my business who other people choose to love. So long as other people don’t bother me with how I live, or better yet, don’t be too judgey, they can fancy whoever they fancy. So long as no humans and animals are hurt during the process.

I like to believe we live in a free world, and I believe we should and can LIVE AND LET LIVE. After all, there are sooooo many people in the world, surely we can’t all be the same, ya? Diversity abounds in humankind. Even if we cannot understand or explain why other people don’t see or feel the way we do, it does not necessarily mean that the other people are wrong and we are right.

Maybe we are just different. It takes all kinds to make the world. They don’t come up with stuff like ‘All roads lead to Rome‘ for nothing, you know. I like to read that as there are many different ways to get to the same destination.

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And don’t forget, happiness and success, too, mean different things to different people.

 

So what about Singapore? Are we ready to be more open to the LGBT community?

I know of many people who think so, and are openly advocating for more freedom and rights for the LGBT community.

There’s even a PINK DOT EVENT that takes place every June. Each year, they get more and more big-name sponsors, more and more famous ambassadors and yes, the turnout also grows from year to year.

For the most recent Pink Dot that happened just a couple of weeks ago, at Hong Lim Park as usual, some 28,000(!) people turned up. Of course, not all are LGBT, many are in fact straight people who want to lend their voice to the so-called #FreedomToLove cause. Some parents even brought their kids so a to educate them to be more all-embracing.

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But there’re some quarters in our society who are less ready to accept this. Yup, mainly the religious groups, particularly the Christians and Muslims. Since last year, a few more vocal ones even came out to encourage the pro-family people to WEAR WHITE on the Pink Dot event day where their supporters traditionally wear pink.

Don’t get why the intolerance, to be honest. From my point of view, it is just one day out of 365 days that the LGBT community wants to hold an event and wear pink collectively. Why can’t just let them be?

 

And quite recently, our PM LEE was also asked about HIS VIEWS ON THE LGBT ISSUE.

Long story short, PM Lee doesn’t think Singapore is ready for same-sex marriage since our society is still conservative. But he does acknowledge that the tide is changing gradually. He’d also said,

But the gay community have the space to live their lives in Singapore. We do not harass them or discriminate against them.

Where we are, I think, is not a bad place to be.

 

Know what? I agree with him.

While I am all for letting everyone make up their own mind who they wanna fall in love with, who they wanna spend the rest of their lives with, I can totally understand why most of us still would not want the LGBT community to set the tone for Singapore society.

Call me traditional, or call me Asian if you like (hehe, actually I am Asian!), but I believe rather firmly that family as a foundation is important. And I am largely supportive of the current ruling party’s pro-family stance and hence, policies. If so, given our limited land and other resources, it is only logical that policies would slant towards family units.

 

One of the main gripes of the LGBT community is that they cannot buy a HDB flat, since they can’t form a family necleus in the traditional sense with their same-sex partner. But hey, the same housing rule is applicable to singles too, alrighty? So it’s not like the rule’s there just to make things difficult for the LGBT community.

Surely most of us are logical enough to understand that the government cannot go all foot-loose and free up the rulings such that everyone is allowed access to subsidized flats. And hey, it’s not like we have no recourse, you know. If you have the money, you can always buy a private property. And if not, just wait till you’re 35 years old. Meanwhile, you can always continue to live with your family, or go rent a place if you really want, need and can afford the privacy.

 

I am with PM Lee in that there is space for the gay community, but they gotta be careful not to push their agenda too hard. Why? Coz if they push the agenda too hard, there will potentially be very strong pushback from the more conservative (and possibly religious) sections.

The country is not restricting your freedom to love, but within the parameters of the law and policiies, we are still largely Asian and family-focused. For most of us here, this is how we’ve chosen life to be.

 

Guess it’s hard to talk about this topic without touching on what THE LATE LKY had said, ya? He was, to many people’s surprise, quite tolerant and understanding.

Here, a very interesting exerpt from his Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going book,

Homosexuality – It’s in the genes
(pp 377 – 380)

As in many societies, the issue of homosexuality is controversial in Singapore. From the heated parliamentary debates in 2007 over whether to retain or repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which prohibits sex between men (it was eventually retained), to the unease over homosexual content in student sex education manuals, the subject polarises the public. It was no surprise then that we received questions on this topic from both sides of the conservative-liberal divide, including one that asked how Lee would feel if one of his grandchildren were gay.

 

Q: What is your personal view on being gay? Do you think it’s a lifestyle or is it genetic?

A: No, it’s not a lifestyle. You can read the books you want, all the articles. There’s a genetic difference, so it’s not a matter of choice. They are born that way and that’s that. So if two men or two women are that way, just leave them alone. Whether they should be given rights of adoption is another matter because who’s going to look after the child? Those are complications that arise once you recognise that you could actually legally marry, then you say I want to adopt. Vivian Balakrishnan says it’s not decisively proven. Well, I believe it is. There’s enough evidence that some people are that way and just leave them be.

 

Q: This is more of a personal question, but how would you feel if one of your grandchildren were to say to you that he or she is gay?

A: That’s life. They’re born with that genetic code, that’s that. Dick Cheney didn’t like gays but his daughter was born like that. He says, “I still love here, full-stop.” It’s happened to his family. So on principle he’s against it but it’s his daughter. Do you throw the daughter out? That’s life. I mean none of my children is gay, but if they were, well, that’s that.

 

Q: So what do you see is an obstacle to gay couples adopting children? You said, who’s going to look after the child?

A: Who’s going to bring them up? Two men looking after a child? Two women looking after a child, maybe. But I’m not so sure because it’s not their own child. Unless you have artificial insemination and it’s their own child, then you have a certain maternal instinct immediately aroused by the process of pregnancy. But two men adopting a boy or a girl, what’s the point of it? These are consequential problems, we cross the bridge when we come to it. We haven’t come to that bridge yet. The people are not ready for it. In fact, some ministers are not ready for it. I take a practical view. I said this is happening and there’s nothing we can do about it. Life’s like that. People are born like that. It’s not new, it goes back to ancient times. So I think there’s something in the genetic code.

 

Q: It took time for Singaporeans to be able to accept single women MPs. Do you see Singaporeans being able to accept a gay MP? It’s already happening in a fairly widespread fashion in Europe.

A: As far as I am concerned, if she does her work as an MP, she looks after her constituents, she makes sensible speeches, she’s making a contribution, her private life is her life, that’s that. There was a British minister, I shouldn’t name him, a Conservative. He was out of office but he was hoping to become the leader of the party and we had dinner with a few friends. He thought he had to come out upfront that when he was at university at Oxford, he did get involved in same-sex activities. But he’s married now with children, he’s quite happy. So he came out with it. He didn’t become leader of the party, and that’s Britain. He thought he had come out upfront and it’d protect him him from investigative reporting. It did not help him. But had he kept quiet they would have dug it out, then it’s worse for him. So there you are. You know, there are two standards. It’s one thing the people at large, it’s another thing your minister or your prime minister being such a person. I mean Ted Heath [16] was not married. I shouldn’t say who the ministers were who said he’s a suppressed homosexual. So the opposition party leaders were telling me because it’s very strange. Here’s a man in the prime of life and getting on, 40, 50, still not married, single, and he was that way at Oxford. So they said, suppressed homosexual. That’s the opposition talk by very reputable leaders who tell me that seriously. So? And with it of course is disapprobation, that he’s unworthy to be a leader. But that was in the early 1970s.

 

Q: Did you come to this view on homosexuality just through scientific reasoning alone?

A: No, by my observation and historical data. I mean, in the Ottoman empire, they had a lot of it. And there was one story that D. H. Lawrence was captured in Arabia and they sodomised him. The Ottomans had their share of homosexuals and I’m sure there were also women in the harems. So? So be it.

 

Q: What about your acquaintances or your friends growing up throughout life, were any of them gay as well?

A: I’m not sure about acquaintances, but not my friends. I mean, they were all married. But I’m sure there must have been. This is not something which is recent, it goes back into historic times. And you have animals sometimes acting that way. So it’s not just human beings, there’s something in the genetic code.

 

Q: So is this one aspect where the conservative views of society are diametrically to your own practical view?

A: I’m not the prime minister, I told you that before I started. If I were the prime minister I would hesitate to push it through against the prevailing sentiment, against the prevailing values of society. You’re going against the current of the people, the underlying feeling. What’s the point of that, you know, breaking new ground and taking unnecessary risk? It will evolve over time, as so many things have, because after a while my own sort of maturing process will take place with other people. You don’t just live and then you cut off your ideas after a certain time. You keep on living and you watch people and you say, “Oh that’s the way life is”.

 

Q: But are you, personally speaking, frustrated by this conservatism?

A: No. I take a purely practical view.

 

Q: But are you frustrated by how this conservatism is perhaps opposed to the practical view?

A: No, that is life. I can’t change them overnight. I think society , their own experiences, their own reading, their own observations will bring about change despite their innate biases.

 

Click HERE if you’re keen to read more about what LKY thought about the subject of homosexuality.

Yea, it’s really a matter of time. But the time is not now.

Like what LKY had said, we have a part Muslim, another part conservative older Chinese and Indians, it’s best to go it slowly. We have to be careful so as to maintain social and racial harmony. Not everything in the world is about the pursuit of ideals and exercising our freedom of choice and expression to the fullest. It’s a lot to do with balancing our freedom with other people’s, and the delicate part is in how we’re all so blardy different.

But when it’s time, when we’re ready, we will know it. And come that time, nothing will stop it from happening coz it will come naturally.

For now, perhaps we should just live and let live. And respect others’ views as much as we want ours respected.

 

Of late, there’s a BLOGGER whose writing I’ve come to enjoy. Her posts are typically short, but so alive with sassiness and personality. I wish I write like her.

Anyway, saw this on her INSTAGRAM.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. #LoveWins ❤️

A photo posted by Flora (@floraisabelle) on

 

Wish wish wish people are more tolerant. At least for this weekend. It’s a win for the LGBT community after decades of championing and all that. Wish we could just let them bask in the happiness for a bit. You know, like don’t rain on their parade? (But oh wait, LKY did say no gay parades here for now ^^)

Perhaps there’ll be people who say I don’t understand since I ain’t a Christian nor am I Muslim, hence I don’t get how the LGBT acts are all deeds of sin or whatever the heck they wanna label it. Can’t argue with it, since I really don’t know. But that doesn’t mean I ain’t entitled to my own views. Last I checked, views and opinons are personal, and even agnostic people like me are entitled to them.

There are so many other things that can do with more care and attention than the LGBT issue. Heck, I’ll just come outright and say it. There are more (and perhaps bigger?) sins than LGBT acts.

Besides, the world that we live in is falling sick. There are so many problems everywhere we look. Surely these LGBT-concerned parties can go concern themselves with other things like saving mother earth or helping poor children, rather than to worry themselves about what happens in other people’s bedrooms?

Of course that’s just me and my runaway thoughts expressed in my personal blog.

And oh, THIS is a pretty good read, no matter which side of the fence you’re sitting on.

 

Anyway, wanna leave you with some rather interesting food for thought. Not sure about you, but I had a ‘Ya hor?!‘ moment when I read it.

Image Credits: visa.tumblr, pinkdot.sg